Chronic kidney disease involves a gradual loss of kidney function. In this type of disease, your kidneys filter wastes and excess fluids from your blood. These are then removed in your urine. Advanced chronic kidney disease can cause dangerous levels of fluid, electrolytes and wastes to build up in your body. In the early stages, you might have few signs or symptoms. In fact, you might not realize that you have kidney disease until the condition is advanced. When the disorder advances, you must reach out to the best nephrology hospital in Hyderabad.
To know more about what is chronic kidney diseases, let’s check out the symptoms and causes of Chronic Kidney Diseases.
Signs and Symptoms of Chronic Kidney Diseases
The signs and symptoms of chronic kidney disease develop over time if kidney damage progresses slowly. Loss of kidney function can cause a buildup of fluid or body waste or electrolyte problems. Depending on how severe it is, loss of kidney function can cause:
- Nausea, Vomiting and Loss of appetite
- Fatigue, weakness and Sleep problems
- Urinating more or less and Muscle cramps
- Decreased mental sharpness
- Swelling of feet and ankles
- Dry and itchy skin
- High blood pressure and Shortness of breath
- Chest pain
Signs and symptoms of kidney disease are often nonspecific and can be caused by other illnesses. Since your kidneys are able to make up for lost function, it is possible you might not develop signs and symptoms until irreversible damage has occurred.
Causes of Chronic Kidney Diseases
There is a list of diseases that can cause chronic kidney disease. Here mentioned are some of the diseases:-
- Type 1 or type 2 diabetes
- High blood pressure
- Interstitial nephritis
- Polycystic kidney disease or other inherited kidney diseases
- Prolonged obstruction of the urinary tract
- Recurrent kidney infection
Stages Of Chronic Kidney Diseases
There are five different stages of chronic kidney disease.
1) Stage 1 Kidney Disease
In stage 1, there’s very mild damage to the kidneys. CKD is likely to be discovered by chance during routine blood and urine tests. You may also have these tests if you have diabetes or high blood pressure. Generally, there are no symptoms when kidneys function at 90 percent or better.
2) Stage 2 Kidney Disease
In this stage, kidneys are functioning between 60 and 89 percent. You might still be symptom free in this stage of disorder. Or, the symptoms are nonspecific, such as fatigue, itching, loss of appetite, sleep problems and weakness.
3) Stage 3 Kidney Disease
In this stage, your kidney is functioning between 45 and 59 percent. In the 3rd stage, the kidneys aren’t filtering waste, toxins, and fluids well and these are starting to build up. Not necessarily everyone has symptoms at stage 3. But, you may notice some of the symptoms such as back pain, fatigue, loss of appetite, persistent itching and sleep problems.
4) Stage 4 kidney Disease
In this stage, you have moderate-to-severe kidney damage and the kidney functions between 15 and 29 percent. So, you may be building up more waste, toxins, and fluids in your body. It’s vital that you do all you can to prevent progression to kidney failure. Symptoms can include back pain, chest pain, decreased mental sharpness and fatigue.
5) Stage 5 Kidney Disease
In the final stage kidneys are not functioning at less than 15 percent capacity or you have kidney failure. And, the buildup of waste and toxins becomes life-threatening. This is end-stage renal disease. Here, the symptoms may include back and chest pain, breathing problems, decreased mental sharpness and fatigue.
Risk Factors For Chronic Kidney Disease
There are certain factors that can increase your risk of chronic kidney disease. This includes Diabetes, High blood pressure and Heart disease. Below mentioned are the other factors:-
- Smoking and Obesity
- Family history of kidney disease
- Abnormal kidney structure
- Older age and Frequent use of medications that can damage the kidneys
According to the doctors, chronic kidney disease can affect almost every part of your body. Some of the common complications are Fluid retention. It could lead to swelling in your arms and legs, high blood pressure, or fluid in your lungs. Other complications include a sudden rise in potassium levels in your blood impairing your heart’s function and can be life-threatening, Anemia, Heart disease, Weak bones and an increased risk of bone fractures.
There are few more complications associated with Chronic Kidney Disease such as:-
- Reduced sex drive and erectile dysfunction or reduced fertility
- Damage to your central nervous system. This can cause difficulty concentrating, personality changes or seizures
- Decreased immune response. This makes you more vulnerable to infection
- An inflammation of the saclike membrane that envelops your heart.
- Pregnancy complications that carry risks for the mother and the developing fetus
- Irreversible damage to your kidneys .
Chronic Kidney Diseases Diagnosis
For the diagnosis of disease, a range of tests and procedures are performed. This helps to determine the severity of your kidney disease. Tests might include:-
Blood tests – It helps to look for the level of waste products, such as creatinine and urea, in your blood.
Urine tests – It helps to reveal abnormalities that point to chronic kidney failure and help identify the cause of chronic kidney disease.
Imaging tests – In such tests, your doctor might use ultrasound to assess your kidneys’ structure and size. Other imaging tests might be used in some cases.
Your doctor might recommend a kidney biopsy. This involves removing a sample of kidney tissue. Kidney biopsy is often done with local anesthesia . This is performed using a long, thin needle that’s inserted through your skin and into your kidney. The biopsy sample is sent to a lab for testing. It helps determine what’s causing your kidney problem.
Chronic Kidney Diseases Diet Food List
The food list for patients of chronic kidney disease should include diet rich in fruits, veggies, low-fat dairy products, whole grains, fish, poultry, beans, seeds, and nuts. Avoid sugars and sweets, fats, and red meats. Talk to your doctor about it if you have CKD.
Can Chronic Kidney Be Reversed?
There is no cure for chronic kidney disease. And, the damage cannot be reversed. However, treatment focuses on managing underlying conditions, reducing symptoms and controlling the progression of damage, such as:-
- Fluid Build-Up
- Congestive Heart Failure
- Serious Weight Loss
- Electrolyte Imbalance
- Weakened or Brittle Bones
When To See A Doctor?
- You must make an appointment with your doctor if you have signs or symptoms of kidney disease. This will be helpful because early detection might help prevent kidney disease from progressing to kidney failure.
- Therefore, if you have a medical condition that increases your risk of kidney disease, your doctor may monitor your blood pressure and kidney function with urine and blood tests during office visits. You must ask your doctor whether these tests are necessary for you.
Chronic Kidney Diseases TREATMENT
Kidney disease complications can be controlled to some extent with the following treatments.
High blood pressure medications – As we know people with kidney disease can have worsening high blood pressure. Your doctor might recommend medications to lower your blood pressure. For example, angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors or angiotensin II receptor blockers. This helps to preserve kidney function.
Medications to lower cholesterol levels – People suffering from with chronic kidney disease often have high levels of bad cholesterol. This can increase the risk of heart disease. Your doctor might recommend medications called statins. This will help to lower your cholesterol
A lower protein diet to minimize waste products in your blood – To reduce the amount of work your kidneys must do, you must eat less protein. You must reach out to a dietician to suggest ways to lower your protein intake while still eating a healthy diet.
To know more about chronic kidney disorders, you must visit your Nephrologist doctor at a nearby hospital.